Pizza Dough (the condensed novel)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
1/4 cup of olive oil plus more for the bowl
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of coarse salt
2 cups all -purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
* recently I’ve been making 3 cups of all-purpose and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour. I try to be really healthy, but my kids prefer the pizza with less whole wheat.
Preheat the oven to 420 F.
Sprinkle the yeast in a bowl with the warm water. Whisk it around a little and let it stand until foamy (about 5 minutes). Brush another large bowl with olive oil.
In the bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flours and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer the flour mixture to an oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl (I cover with a kitchen towel)and let stand in a warm spot to rise (until dough is about doubled in size). Since I’m in Florida, it’s easy to find a warm spot and it usually rises in less than an hour.
While the dough is rising, I prepare my toppings. I like to add about a cup of tomato sauce. I add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fresh basil to the sauce. You want your sauce to glisten.
The first few times I made it, I happened to have the nice fresh mozzarella that Costco sells.
If I am adding anchovies and olives. I chop them a little.
When your dough has risen, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. It can be a bigger cutting board or your kitchen counter…whatever works for you. With floured hands, knead the dough until smooth and divide into two balls. This was the part I had trouble with because I didn’t add enough flour to make the dough pliable. It was sticking to my hands and I was getting frustrated. Don’t be afraid to add a little flour to the board and to your hands…it will get absorbed.
Now you have to stretch the dough on your pizza pan. You could add cornmeal to the pan before you add the dough. I have a pan that has wholes on bottom so the cornmeal idea didn’t work for me.
Brush a little olive oil around dough and pre-bake it for about 10 minutes in a 420 oven.
After pre-bake it, spoon the sauce on the dough and spread it out. Next, add your toppings. If you don’t have the extra yummy fresh mozzarella, you could use shredded mozzarella. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Add the mozzarella the last 5-10 minutes or it will get too brown.
Depends on your oven and how you like your pizza cooked. You could make both dough rolls or make one, freeze the other half and use it another day if you didn’t bake both.